Professional Picture Framers Association

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Professional Picture Framers Association
Formation21 August 1971 (1971-08-21)
Headquarters83 South Street, Unit 307 Freehold, NJ 07728
Official language
Reproductions of antique gilded picture frame mouldings

The Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA)[1][2][3] is an international trade organization. The headquarters of the PPFA is based in Virginia, where four full-time staff serve the requirements of its members. These are the only paid staff of an otherwise volunteer-run association.[4] Its primary focus is the education[5][6][7] of custom picture framers. The organization and all its chapters are run by volunteers.

The Professional Picture Framers Association has 18 U.S. Chapters and two international Chapters, in Canada and Australia/New Zealand.

The Association currently represents over 2000 member businesses from around the world. Association members include independent frame shop owners and staff, distributors and manufacturers of picture frame mouldings, supplies and equipment.[8]


  • Incorporated on August 21, 1971[9][10] with offices in Richmond, Virginia established in 1973 [11]
  • The first Print Framing Competition was held in Burlingame, CA in 1971
  • The first Open Framing Competition was held in New York, NY in 1975
  • Launched the Certified Picture Framer certification program in 1986 [12]
  • Became part of the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) in 2001 [13]
  • Launched the Master Certified Picture Framer certification program in 2003 [14]
  • The Photo Marketing Association (PMA) sold off ownership to Monarch Exhibitions in 2015.
  • The current president of the PPFA is Gregory K. Norris, CPF [15]


PPFA has two levels of certification:

  • Certified Picture Framer (CPF)
  • Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF)

To attain CPF certification, the candidate must be active in the picture framing industry with a minimum one year's experience, and then pass a 3.5 hour, 150 question multiple choice examination. Candidates can also take the CPF examination online during certain timeslots, so that they do not have to travel to an examination venue.

The MCPF designation is earned by the candidate performing several objectives, all required:

  • be a CPF in good standing
  • having taken at least one recertification class
  • submitting four framed items (a canvas, a textile, a paper print and an object) for inspection by qualified examiners
  • assembling a framed piece to completion onsite, within 1 1/2 hours
  • writing a condition-report for an artwork

In 2013 there are fewer than 70 MCPFs worldwide. Framers who have obtained either the CPF or MCPF designations are required to recertify through a day-long course every four years in order to keep abreast of new developments in the framing industry. In addition to the recertification course, a Master Certified Picture Framer must either take or teach three classes identified by the PPFA Certification Board as meeting the requirements for continuing education.

After attaining MCPF, a framer ceases to be a CPF. A framer who has obtained a qualification can place the relevant CPF or MCPF marking after his name for promotional purposes.[16][17] The designations Certified Picture Framer, CPF and MCPF are all registered trademarks in the United States.[18][19][20]


PPFA publishes a members only quarterly newsletter, provides news, ideas, the latest innovations, materials and methodologies important for the industry. On line forum [21] has public and private [22](for members only) sections.

Over the years the organization has published numerous books and DVD’s. All publications are available to members for free in Chapter libraries [23] or for purchase in PPFA bookstore.[24] In addition, members have an on line access to a Framer’s Library, a collection of technical articles.

Partial list of publications[edit]

  • Kistler, Vivian C., (revised 2006)-Picture Framing, Vol. 1 (Library of Professional Picture Framing, Vol 1), Columbia Publishing, ISBN 978-0938655114
  • Kistler, Vivian C., (2007)- Conservation Framing (Library of the Professional Picture Framing, Vol 4), Columba Publishing, ISBN 978-0938655039

Annual Convention[edit]

The association has an annual convention[25] each January in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the convention, the PPFA conducts an international framing competition. This framing competition has two sections, the Open and Print competition. For the Open competition, entrants can frame an artwork of their choice. For the Print competition, entrants are all sent the same artwork and have to frame this creatively. During this annual convention, framers have the possibility to sit either the CPF or MCPF examination. Another means of communication among framers is the Framers Corner website run by the PPFA.


The Professional Picture Framers Association has 18 U.S. Chapters and two international Chapters, in Canada and Australia/New Zealand. :[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Associations: pts. 1-2. National organizations of the U.S, Volume 1
  2. ^ The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  3. ^ "PPFA Trademark Details". 1996-04-02. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
  4. ^ Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series. Library of Congress. 1977.
  5. ^ "Conservation Information Network (BCIN)". The PPFA has an online bookstore where members can purchase framing books and merchandise.Professional Picture Framers Association. PPFA Guild Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Paper. LAC=BAC: S.l.
  6. ^ "Conservation Information Network (BCIN)"Day, Diane (1996). The best of technical talk - volume 2. Professional Picture Framers Association.
  7. ^ Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, Art Conservation Organizations
  8. ^
  9. ^ Registration Certificate
  10. ^,+its+benefits,...-a0158524050">What is PPFA? Learn about this PMA member association, its benefits, and resources
  11. ^ Harris, P. (2001). The Guide to National Professional Certification Programs. Human Resource Development Press. p. 396. ISBN 9780874256321. Retrieved 2014-11-26.
  12. ^ "Trademark Status & Document Retrieval". Retrieved 2014-11-26.
  13. ^ HighBeam 2001 PMA Annual Report
  14. ^ "Trademark Status & Document Retrieval". Retrieved 2014-11-26.
  15. ^ "PPFA 2016 Chapters".
  16. ^ The Guide to National Professional Certification Programs
  17. ^ Directory of selected national testing programs
  18. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office - Certified Picture Framer
  19. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office - CPF
  20. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office - MCPF
  21. ^ On Line Forum
  22. ^ Members Only Forum Section
  23. ^ "March 4th Meeting Follow-up | New England PPFA". Retrieved 2014-11-26.
  24. ^ PPFA Bookstore "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2013-10-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ Trade shows and professional exhibits directory
  26. ^ PPFA Chapters

External links[edit]